CALGARY, June 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Imperial Oil Limited today announced it has received final acceptance from the Toronto Stock Exchange for a normal course issuer bid (NCIB) to repurchase up to three percent of its 846,530,905 outstanding common shares as of June 13, 2017, or a maximum of 25,395,927 shares during the next 12 months. This maximum will be reduced by the number of shares purchased from Exxon Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil), Imperial's majority shareholder, as described below.
The new one year program will begin on June 27, 2017, and will end should the company purchase the maximum allowable number of shares, or on June 26, 2018.
"Our objective is to deliver shareholder value throughout the business cycle by investing in attractive growth opportunities and paying a reliable and growing dividend, supplemented by a flexible share repurchase program," said Rich Kruger, Imperial chairman, president and CEO. "The company has repurchased approximately 50 percent of outstanding shares since 1995 and we've returned about $10 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases over the last decade."
Imperial periodically has excess cash beyond its day-to-day operating and capital investment needs. After considering alternative means of distributing excess cash to shareholders, Imperial's board of directors concluded it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to have the flexibility to purchase shares under the NCIB. The NCIB is a flexible way of rebalancing Imperial's capital structure while distributing a portion of cash reserves to shareholders who choose to participate by selling their shares. In addition, the NCIB will be used to eliminate dilution from shares issued in conjunction with Imperial's restricted stock unit plan.
ExxonMobil will be permitted to sell its shares to Imperial outside of, but concurrent with, the NCIB in order to maintain its proportionate share ownership at approximately 69.6 percent. ExxonMobil advised Imperial that it intends to participate, as it has in prior years.
All share purchases will be made through the Toronto Stock Exchange and through other designated exchanges and published markets in Canada. Shares purchased under the NCIB are restored to the status of authorized but unissued shares.
As of June 13, 2017, Imperial has 846,530,905 issued and outstanding common shares. The average daily trading volume of Imperial's common shares over the six calendar months prior to the date of this announcement was 629,785 shares per day. Imperial's daily trading limit under the new program will be 157,446 shares, which represents 25 percent of Imperial's daily trading volume.
The acceptance marks the continuation of Imperial's existing share repurchase program that will expire on June 26, 2017. Under the existing program, a maximum number of 1,000,000 shares are available for purchase from the open market. As of June 22, 2017, Imperial has purchased the maximum 1,000,000 shares on the open market and a corresponding 2,287,062 shares from ExxonMobil to maintain its proportionate share ownership at 69.6 percent, representing a total cost of about $127 million and an average cost of $38.56 per share.
After more than a century, Imperial continues to be an industry leader in applying technology and innovation to responsibly develop Canada's energy resources. As Canada's largest petroleum refiner, a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, a key petrochemical producer and a leading fuels marketer from coast to coast, our company remains committed to high standards across all areas of our business.
SOURCE Imperial Oil Limited
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